This article is going to take about a couple of homeopathy challenges out there. This article will discuss the homeopathic challenge from James Randi awarding a prize of $1,000,000 dollars to show anything paranormal. Homeopathy would fall under this category due to the fact that this form of alternative medicine uses dilute substances to heal. The other challenge is from Simon Singh and Edward Ernst saying that they will award anyone $10,000 pounds that can show homeopathy will work in a placebo based trial using their research methodology.
The first challenge is the James Randi challenge. It awards anyone a $1000000 dollar prize to show something that is paranormal. Some homeopaths have taken up this challenge but their application was denied. The challenge states that people with serious medical conditions can not stop their current medication to participate in the challenge.
A homeopath was going to demonstrate his success treating patients with chronic asthma symptoms via Homeopathy. They felt the participants would be in danger by not taking their current medications for chronic asthma so the trial was denied.
In the James Randi challenge, you would have to design the trial. James Randi's staff would approve the design trials. You can begin testing once you are approved.
The second challenge is very strange. Ernst and Singh have issued a challenge to homeopathy to demonstrate evidence that this type of alternative medicine works using cochrane research methodology. The prize is $10,000 pounds.
What makes this challenge so strange, you may ask? Ernst himself did a trial on homeopathy showing it worked for varicose veins.(1) He tested 61 people with varicose veins and the homeopathic group show a 44% improvement.
Is he going to give himself $10,000 pounds because he proved that homeopathy worked?
The question becomes why are people offering these challenges?
Is it for publicity?
Is it to discredit Homeopathy?
Why have some few homeopaths taken up these challenges?
Do people think that these organizations will actually pay if the experiment proves successful?
Do people feel these experiments would be fair?